Relay in the Sky to Honor Healthcare Professionals and First Responders
General Aviation Operators Invited to Participate in Relay in the Sky to Honor Healthcare Professionals and First Responders
September 4, 2020 (San Diego, California)- Operation Thank You: Relay in the Sky is a unique way to leverage general aviation to honor those who have been putting their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic. As aircraft operators share their respect and admiration for these heroes, they will also be demonstrating to the country how general aviation connects communities, from big cities to small towns, in a way that no other form of transportation can.
Operation Thank You will consist of 98 flight legs with three volunteer aircraft to be confirmed for each leg. The event organizer Spirit of Liberty Foundation created a composite three-foot-tall lighted torch that will be transported on each leg. At every stop, governors, mayors, dignitaries and honorees will greet the flights with a short ceremony at one of the participating FBOs. Flags and banners will be left behind at each stop to permanently commemorate Operation Thank You. The first Relay in the Sky flight will launch from San Diego on September 23, with the final leg delivering the artifacts to Washington, D.C. on October 30. Spirit of Liberty Foundation Chairman Richard Rovsek is envisioning the relay to culminate in the torch leading a ticker tape parade through downtown Washington D.C.
The Commemorative Air Force joins with several other organizations such as National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Air Transportation Association, and others to raise awareness of this event within the aviation community. FBO sponsors at each airport will host local dignitaries as well as healthcare workers and first responders. The American Hospital Association is participating by arranging groups of doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, and other health care workers from among its 5,000-plus membership to greet each incoming flight.
“Participating in Operation Thank You: Relay in the Sky will be a lasting story to tell,” said Rovsek. “This project is more than just a ‘thank you’ and an honor. It will demonstrate the power of general aviation and lift the spirits of healthcare workers and first responders across the country.”
Those interested in signing up to participate in the relay can visit https://bit.ly/3kSPoSf.